Champions League: Make or break time for German clubs | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.10.2012
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Champions League: Make or break time for German clubs

Following a humiliating defeat at the hands of Belarus underdog BATE, Bayern Munich is feeling the heat ahead of their match against Lille. But things will be even tougher for the other German clubs.

For the first time this Champions League season German record champions Bayern Munich are in a tight spot ahead of their third match of the season in the European club competition. Coach Jupp Heynckes team can not afford to give up points to OSC Lille on Tuesday, nor can they allow any further slip-ups at all if they want to make it to the top of the table of Group F and into the next round.

“After our defeat against Borisov in Minsk, we are feeling a lot of pressure now,” commented Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "Expectations are high for the team to hopefully pull off a win.”

The Bundesliga club has had a brilliant start to the season with eight wins in a row. This has certainly boosted their egos, but doesn't count for anything in the Champions League.

Before the game against Lille, which is ranked last in the group, the Bayern coach made it perfectly clear to his players that the French should not be underestimated. "We've had one victory and one defeat so far, so we have to perform now," Heynckes said and emphasized: "We'll have to give our best."

Dortmund wants redemption


A difficult task awaits Borussia Dortmund in Group D, the so-called "Group of Death" where four countries' champions are grouped together.

German champions Borussia Dortmund, however, are not in the best of moods. The team has not yet been able to quite digest their defeat in the derby against their arch rivals Schalke, and now they have to face off against some of the best players in the world when they play host to Real Madrid.

The Dortmund squad is plagued by injury problems and coach Jürgen Klopp will need to come up with a special plan against the Spanish giants. At the same time, Dortmund wants to show some confidence.

"Of course we have respect for Real. But that doesn't mean we won't put on a good fight," said team captain Sebastian Kehl.

Unlike in the Bundesliga where they have won just twelve points in eight games, Dortmund has done surprisingly well in the Champions League, managing a win over Amsterdam and a draw with Manchester City. "Our starting point is good," said Kehl.

Confidence from derby win


Dortmund's archrivals Schalke also already have four points under their belt after the first two matches of the season.

But Arsenal is already waiting for them in London and putting on a show of respect.

"They [Schalke] are technically solid - their game is similar to ours. This will interesting," said Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker, who also plays for the German national team.

He will look after Bundesliga top scorer, Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: "It is difficult to stop him," said Mertesacker, who believes that either Schalke or Arsenal will lead the table of Group B.

Schalke is quite relaxed after their 2-1 triumph over Dortmund last weekend. Schalke coach Huub Stevens and his team are looking forward to the match against Arsenal.

Abnd their derby victory has made an impression with Arsenal too. Derby triumph has left an impression in northern London.

"This was a great result in Dortmund, a good performance, " said Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, but he added: "But we'll see you on Wednesday!"

Following two commanding victories against Montpellier and Piraeus, things are running as planned in the Champions League for Arsenal.

Thanks also to their new hero Lukas Podolski. The former Cologne player and German national team midfielder scored two of his four season goals for Arsenal in Champions League fixtures.